This ain't bad.
This is NUTS. You said you don’t do orchestral, but this is some quality stuff for not really having it be your main genre!
I enjoyed very much when you added the percussion! It was beautiful instrumentation, you mixed everything fantastically, and your strings sound very pretty here. I would say after a while they do get a bit MIDI-sounding, like an older synthesizer, but still, great harmonies and composition work here.
2:04 stands out to me as something that should be expounded upon. My goodness, that was such an amazing piano doodle it caught me off-guard, and you didn’t disappoint with the chords following. Reminded me a lot of an anime soundtrack, and the way you chose to end the song is without a doubt perfect to me – lingering, a bit sad, but soft and with a sense of closure!
My only gripe here is that your instruments felt too quantized to be natural instruments, which in the case of cinema, it’s desirable to have that “real full orchestra” feel. Lets the listener know that it is indeed a human being with emotion playing the music. Hard to do, of course, when you have only VSTs to work with (cough… ME TOO… cough), so I think you really nailed it with what you had.
The composition is slightly flowery, but I can hear all the trills and details you put into the end of your bars, which sometimes gives it a very storybook feel. I can tell you were dedicated to making this sound appropriate for the orchestral genre and I think you did excellently.
Again, not bad for never writing orchestral, friend! :D
NGADM Round 4 Score: 8.9
so nice! some of the samples are kinda iffy; harp is super stiff sounding and the strings have really harsh highs, also kinda distorted sounding high notes on the piano. the instrumentation is really great though. love the way the strings swell and subside into the drumming section.
yeah the piano at the end is nice on its own but doesn't really sit right with the rest of the piece imo. i think another string swell towards the end would've helped to link it back to everything else. i feel like, melodically at least, there's this disconnect between the first and second half of the piece - a stronger main theme would help to tie everything together, and dispersing little leitmotifs throughout the later sections would help it feel like a cohesive musical story.
great effort in spite of many setbacks!
NGADM Round 4 Review
This is a beautiful entry, PirateCrab. I understand that with everything going on, creating this must have been tough – especially since this track isn't of your typical genre. But you know what? You pulled through and made something that has some great poetic qualities. That, in itself, is truly praiseworthy!
I enjoyed hearing those 'softer' instruments do their work in the early portions of the song. The harp, piano, and those soft strings at 1:07 made me feel at complete peace. I have become so accustomed to being pumped up by your tracks that I was pleasantly surprised by this. In fact, 'No Joy Here' is full of emotion. I actually ended up with a 'lump' in my throat because it made me reflect on some of my own events. The great composition was not surprising however, because I knew you would be able to create something splendid due to your past entries.
There were a few things that didn't quite sit well with me, but honestly, they weren't huge issues at all. The overall mix was a little disappointing. Certain instruments, such as the strings and some points of the percussion, were a tad too loud or seemed to sit awkwardly in the mix. All in all though, nothing sounded outrageous!
The piano towards the end seemed out of place, as a result, the outro seems a little underdeveloped. It is a total contrast to the piano section you have in the first half of the track, which fits remarkably well. Anyway, I was expecting a lot more when I heard that first note at 2:04, but it trailed off too soon without much development. That being said, I could see (or rather, hear) what you were going for and I think if you had just a bit more time, the entire outro would have been incredible. That's not to say that it is bad though, because I think it sounds graceful and it is certainly pleasing to the ears.
I would love to hear what you could do with your metal skills, and a touch of orchestral like we heard in this track. Keep experimenting, and keep making amazing songs. Congrats on doing such a wonderful job, PirateCrab! :D
NGADM Round 4 Review!
Congrats on making it this far Mr Crabby Pirate! Honestly this is a commendable effort and I tried not to be biased based on my expectations of your usual style (i.e. it not being here at all hehe).
It has a pretty intro which sets the tone well. The piano section after it is also lovely and I got a real boost when you introduced the percussion. This means I definitely connected with the composition - a good sign you're doing something right.
I feel you could have taken this further and mixed it more competently, plus I feel you ended it right at the moment it should have picked up even further. You could have added brass in harmony with the strings, some rhythmic section where all the instruments stop and then go again creating a sense of momentum to build up to a final emotional peak...
As I said, it's better than a lot of things you hear and you were unlucky towards the end of the contest with life events and technical issues so all I can say to you is congratulations, you did a great job.
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.